Several Days Later…

During this summer program I have learned a lot, starting with the resident-hall assistant sounding like a serial killer when she knocks on my door in the morning. I learned that operating a camera is way harder than it looks. I also learned that journalism is a whole lot more than writing. I was doing a lot of photography, which I’m used to, but the equipment we used here was new to me. I like doing all the behind the scenes stuff, but I hate being on camera. When I was a news anchor for a broadcast lesson, I was absolutely mortified. Can I just say … never again.

Today was especially fun because I ended up writing two articles in a little over two hours. I’ve never written an article under such an exact time restriction before. My journalism teacher gave us deadlines, sure, but they weren’t that strict. At home, I’d do most of my article writing at night in my room so that they were ready the next day. Ever since I got here I’ve been really anxious about getting to the writing. I know that I’m supposed to try new things. I’ve done that without a complaint, but today was literally the best day I’ve had so far. I could really do this all day. These computers make it even more fun because you can have a lot of windows open at the same time on the wide Mac screens. I arranged two tabs for research on either side and had a word document open in the middle.

Today is also going to be great because someone told me that the chicken Alfredo is amazing, and I haven’t really had anything mouth-watering here yet.

I’m also excited to sleep-not going to lie.

Eyes on the prize

Throughout the week, I’ve been delving deeper and deeper into the world of journalism. Though I was accepted into the Greene program for my writing and photography, I’ve learned numerous things about videography and broadcast journalism.

Inside the Stony Brook School of Journalism newsroom. Photo by Meghan Reilly. (July 20, 2018)

At the Ducks game, I enjoyed working the video camera and taking shots of the baseball players at bat and running the bases. I also learned quite a lot about Final Cut Pro so that we could sort through and compile the videos together to emulate a newscast.

However, I’m not the best reporter; while working with some of my fellow Greene Team members in front of the camera on day two, I realized that I wasn’t really cut out for the job of an anchor or reporter because I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m not sure if it was out of nervousness or that Parker kept making funny faces, but either way, I was completely hysterical by the time we were finished.

Yesterday, we were assigned another package: to interview children from iD Tech, a camp that teaches its 7- to 18-year-old campers skills such as coding, game development and Lego robotics. A small group of 9-year-olds specialized in the latter and we decided to interview them, as well as a few camp counselors. And we asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, the campers said they wanted to be engineers. It was pretty intriguing that such young kids were so eager and interested in a career like engineering, and the fact that they knew what they wanted to do a decade before college is awesome!

Today, however, is a little more stressful because we have to get everything done by tonight. Both articles are done and the still photography looks great, but we still have to work on and finish our packages. Time is going fast and I can’t believe the program is almost over already! I’m definitely going to miss it, even though I have had to wake up at 6 a.m. and I miss my mom’s great home cooking.

What I’ll miss the most, though, are the bonds I’ve made with everyone here. Though the majority of the Greene Team is just a drive away, knowing that we’ll never all be together like this again definitely makes me sad.

But for now, we’ve got our eyes on the prize and a deadline on the horizon.

Day 5 adventure with the Greene Team

It was a long Day 5 here, and I wasn’t expecting the craziness at the newsroom today.

After breakfast, we all made our way to the newsroom, where we had the amazing opportunity to participate in a press conference on the topic of ending gun violence. I was nervous to pose a question, and I learned how to properly write your notes like quotes and some information about what they are saying. Sometimes it’s easier to record the conference, but I feel it’s up to the reporter and what they feel comfortable.

After this amazing and powerful press conference, we took a quick lunch break before getting all our Long Island Ducks packages together. It was a little challenging to work on this piece.  All afternoon, my partner and I were writing down the time codes of the quotes we want to put in our video piece.

Later this evening, we got taught in just 45 minutes the beginning shortcuts of video editing. After that we headed over to East Side dining to have some dinner. My group and I then walked back to the newsroom and got our questions set for our next piece with Cole the filmmaker.

Cole and me

After a 12-hour day, we finally came back to Benedict and showered, chilled in our dorms and went to sleep at 12:20 a.m.!

From doubter to doer

Throughout this week, I’ve been surprised by how much of a fun and enriching learning experience it’s been. The program was meticulously planned, teaching us all aspects of journalism.

Learning the stressful and fast-paced field of news broadcasting has been particularly memorable. We learned the logistics of being in front of and behind the camera. I was engrossed in how the control room works. Each individual has dozens of buttons to press at various times, and they have to communicate with others in the room and to the cameraman at the film site.

We reported on the Long Island Ducks as they played the New Britain Bees Wednesday. Photo by Yash Kumar. (July 18, 2018)

I was surprised how many people are actually needed to tell the evening news, and how crucial each person is to the whole production.

Another highlight of my week here at Stony Brook was when we attended the Long Island Ducks game. It was a stressful time, trying to film people in the gift shop for B-roll, finding good candidates for interviews and getting the spelling of every person interviewed. When we finally finished reporting, I was able to get food and sit down with my friends Matt Quanand and Sebastian Germosen and watch the closing moments of the game.

Regarding leisure time, I am going to miss the dorm life and all of the friends I have made. Whether it was playing cards in the lounge late at night or eating breakfast and telling jokes, I’ve created strong friendships that would usually take months to develop. Coming into the program, I was shy and scared to open up, but things improved rapidly, and I’ve made very close friends in Matt and Sebastian. We soon found out about our many common interests, from sports to social media. Soon, I was comfortable around everyone on the team.

I’ve had great learning experiences with some kind and helpful experts in various journalism fields. I’ve also made several friends who brought out the best of me, and the program. I hope to apply this knowledge in my school’s newspaper and also keep in touch with many of my friends in the program.

Just when I thought I couldn’t be more interested in journalism …

In front of Newsday’s headquarters in Melville.

It was a very exciting Day 4 at the Greene Institute, and just when I thought I couldn’t become more interested in journalism, I was amazed at how much work goes into of being a reporter and behind the scenes of television.

At 7:30 a.m., after a quick breakfast, we all made our way over to the broadcast studio, where we had the amazing opportunity to put together a newscast. I got to be the anchor, floor director and work in the control room. I was nervous to go first to get up and speak in front of the camera, but after a while, it felt more normal to me. It was so amazing to me how much work was put into producing only a two- to three-minute newscast.

At the end of the lesson, watching back the newscasts, both good and bad, showed how much we improved.

Later today, we are going to Newsday to see how a real newspaper and newsroom works.

After that, we are going to Bethpage Ballpark to conduct field work for stories on the Long Island Ducks. My team chose to cover the summer jobs.

The view from the press box!

That’s me at the anchor desk!

I am very excited to try to apply all of these skills that I have learned so far this week. I’ve learned so much about many aspects of journalism and have gained so many new friends that I know I will keep after this week concludes. I am loving every second of this whole process!

A culinary discovery and jam-packed agenda

Sushi available at the Emporium. Photo by Lauren Hicks. (July 20, 2018)

Oh my God! I think I might’ve found the best thing to eat in the dining hall, and I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t find out about it before. Sushi. It’s funny, because I kept seeing people with trays of sushi in the cafeteria and I kept wondering, “Where did they find that?” When I first walked into the Emporium, across from the cafeteria, I immediately saw the sushi and knew I just had to buy it.

Anyway, enough about sushi. So far, today has been packed—from visiting Newsday, where we toured the newsroom and talked to journalists there to the press conference at the Long Island Ducks game—I just realized how long a day could really be. If Cathrine and Zach can fit all these events into one single day, I can definitely learn to be more productive with my own time.

Crunch time and loving it

Getting ready to edit on Final Cut Pro. Photo by Emily Palazzotto.

Right off the bat this morning, we were tasked with coming up with questions to ask at a press conference with Caroline Suozzi about the steps her father, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, and his campaign team are taking to put an end to gun violence.

At the press conference, each of us got to ask a few questions. Some then chose to write some stories about the press conference.

Rather than doing the extra story, I decided to start editing the footage my team got at the Ducks game on Final Cut Pro to to help us meet deadline. Now we’re about to eat lunch. After that, my team and I  are going to the iD Tech Camp, a Lego robotics programs, where we will cover our second story. My job is to take still photos, which I am excited to do because I still don’t have much experience with that.

Later on today, we are attending the Stony Brook Film Festival, which should also be a good time. It is crunch time to meet the set deadline, but as chaotic as it is, I still love each thing I am learning and doing at this program!

Inspired to start a school publication

The Greene Team’s story board. Photo by Emily Palazzotto. (July 20, 2018)

As the Greene experience comes to an end, I am so grateful for all that I have learned during my time here this week.

Not only did I learn more about journalism overall, but I learned all of the different career paths that I can go with it.

I am leaving here with such a deep love for journalism. Each second that I have been fortunate enough to take a seat in this elite program’s newsroom, I have done my very best to absorb every last word uttered to me peers, as well as professional and seasoned journalists.

This week gave me a true look into what college will be like and at first. I was a little nervous to be away from home for the first time, but the warm and friendly atmosphere among all of us in the newsroom all day and back at the dorm at night made being away much easier than I anticipated, though I obviously missed my family.

I am walking away from this experience with so many new friends with whom I share an interest, and I am so thankful for that. I am now much more confident in my work and I can truly see a possible future for me in this field.

I plan on attempting to get my school to start some sort of publication at Connetquot, whether online or print, this upcoming year.

I was so inspired this week by everyone in my presence to become a better journalist in any way that I could.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I will be forever thankful for all of the opportunities that it has presented to me. I will never forget my time here with the Greene Team and all that I have learned.

One day, if I make it in the world of journalism, I will owe it all to everyone who has helped me get my start this week.

‘Yep, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life’

The entrance at Newsday in Melville displays the logos of the company’s various outlets. Photo by Zoe Gordon. (July 18, 2018)


Today was one of my favorite days so far in this program. We started out learning everything about broadcast journalism, from the control room to the anchor desk.

TV journalism was definitely something I had hoped to learn about here. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed being on air and working behind the scenes in the control room. When I was anchoring, I had a clear thought in my head of, “Yep, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Later in the day, we toured Newsday. Being a Florida native, I did not really know what Newsday was or how big it was before coming to Long Island. The thing I found most interesting is how much history Newsday has as a company. I also thought it was pretty awesome that Newsday was founded by a woman.

Lastly, we had the Ducks game. It was so much fun, but also stressful to find people to interview. I think my group changed our story idea five times. However, in the end we were able to conduct good interviews, film lots of B-role and just have fun. I was able to figure out things I have never done before at my school, like filming videos and taking pictures.

I also had the best time just hanging out with the friends I have made just days ago. I had no idea that I would make such good friends in the short week we have at Stony Brook. So far, my experience would not be the same without them.

I found my passion!

I’m busy at work at the Long Island Ducks ballgame. Photo by Inna Ali. (July 18, 2018)

I came to Stony Brook University Saturday not remotely aware that I was about to have an experience of a lifetime. After five days at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists, I can safely say that I have had the full journalism experience and it was great!

On the first day we warmed up by meeting to discuss the stories we were interested in writing about. The Greene Team was enthusiastically spitting out ideas. It was impressive.

We got straight to the action on the second day when learned the fundamentals of writing, reporting, photography and videography. My favorite part was photography. I was never interested in photography before because I wasn’t educated about it. But as soon as I learned about f-stop, shutter speed, ISO and exposure, I was ready to capture some magic.

On Tuesday, there were more lessons from the day before, and we prepared to for our field reporting assignments.

My favorite day of the whole week was Wednesday. We got a chance to meet professors and veteran journalists Marcy McGinnis and Connie Conway. I got a chance to sit in the broadcast studio and serve as a reporter as well as a member of the technical support team. I was nervous at first about speaking on camera, but I enjoyed it.

Later that day the Greene Team got a chance to tour Newsday’s newsroom and learn a little bit more about the paper’s history. Did you know Newsday was started by Alicia Patterson in 1940?

After the Newsday tour, we were journeyed to a Long Island Ducks game. We got a chance to hold a press conference with Michael Polak, the director of media relations and broadcast. Then we went out into the stands to interview people for our story. I approached people to ask them questions, something I wouldn’t have done in my normal day-to-day life. Some people didn’t want to talk, but I didn’t feel discouraged by it. As my mom always says, “You have to have a thick skin to become a journalist.” I guess I just developed my thick skin!

I really enjoyed my days here at Greene Insitute. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will take the skills I developed here make them useful. I walked into this program torn between two professions—acting and journalism—and I’m walking away stuck on journalism. It has everything I’ve ever been interested in and I’m grateful to have had this experience.

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